Borders set for a right royal rail celebration

Queen Elizabeth II arrives to inspect 2 Scots The Royal Regiment of Scotland as she takes up summer residence at Balmoral. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday August 10, 2015. Photo credit should read: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
Queen Elizabeth II arrives to inspect 2 Scots The Royal Regiment of Scotland as she takes up summer residence at Balmoral. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday August 10, 2015. Photo credit should read: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

The Borders is readying itself for its biggest week in a generation with just days until the new railway opens and The Queen officially opens the line.

To mark the occasion there will be a host of events starting this weekend:

Saturday 5 September

Golden Ticket day. Golden ticket holders will travel on three special trains covering the full route:

Departing from Tweedbank at 11.31am and returning 1.52pm

Departing from Stow at 12.44pm and returning at 3.14pm

Departing from Gala at 10.05am and returning at 12.35pm.

Members of the public, family or friends of golden ticket holders will not be permitted entry to the stations or event areas for any of the Golden Ticket ceremonies. You will not, for example, be able to go along to wave people off from the platforms of any of the stations. This is because only Golden Ticket holders will be permitted access.

All the car parks at the train stations will remain closed on Saturday (as the railway line does not officially open to the public until Sunday 6 September).

Vehicle movement around all three stations will be restricted and temporary road closures will be in place for periods of time during the day. Please see below for more information on restrictions.

Bus services

Advertised bus services will operate as normal on Saturday 5 September however bus services will be subject to delays due to temporary road closures in operation. Bus timetables for all operators can be viewed on www.travelinescotland.com or telephone 0871 200 22 33.

Sunday 6 September

Borders Railway opens to customers

Train service - The first services on Sunday 6 September is expected to be very busy. The first northbound service departs Tweedbank at 08:45 and the first southbound train from Edinburgh leaves at 09:11, with an hourly service in each direction until around 23:00.

Queues - Tickets for travel on Borders trains cannot be reserved for a particular service, so queuing systems will be in place at busier stations.

Ticket buying - ScotRail is encouraging people to buy their tickets in advance online or by telephone – although they can be bought on the day as well. Passengers who can travel later in the day on 6 September will face shorter queues.

Space on trains - ScotRail has stressed that space will be kept on trains departing Edinburgh and Tweedbank to allow room for customers boarding at intermediate stations.

Tweedbank temporary café – a café service will be available in a marquee across the road from Tweedbank Station.

Tuesday 8 September

Tweedbank Station car park - temporary closure – As the car park at Tweedbank will be used as a spectator area during the opening celebrations on Wednesday 9 September, the car park will close at 12.01am on Tuesday 8 September and will reopen at 9pm on Wednesday 9 September - or earlier if possible.

All train travellers – including those on the 2354 service from Edinburgh Waverley - are asked to remove their vehicles from Tweedbank Station before the closure.

Any vehicle left in the car park after midnight on Monday 7 September will be removed in accordance with Railway Byelaw 14(5) of the Transport Act 2000.

More information on car park closures and service alterations is available at www.scotrail.co.uk/borders-service-alterations

Alternative parking for train travellers on Tuesday 8 September is available at Tweedbank Industrial Estate.

Wednesday, September 9

The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh will arrive at Tweedbank Station for the main opening ceremony of the Borders Railway at 12.18pm.

Members of the public are welcome to attend the event at Tweedbank - from 9.30am - where The Queen will unveil a plaque to officially open the Borders Railway.

The event takes place at Tweedbank Station where the car park is being used as the spectator area.

Local bands will play from 11am, and the event is compered by Alasdair Hutton, voice of the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.

All you need to know about the royal visit

How to get here?

People are encouraged to travel by bicycle, foot or bus due to car parking being very restricted in the Tweedbank area.

Bus services

Advertised bus services will operate as normal on Wednesday 9 September. Bus services will be subject to delays due to temporary road closures in operation. Bus timetables for all operators can be viewed on www.travelinescotland.com.

Trains

Train services are subject to alterations on this day – more information at www.scotrail.co.uk/borders-service-alterations.

On foot

Access to the event is available from either direction along Tweedbank Drive .

Want to see the Royal steam train?

Viewing points advice. The Royal steam train is passing through the towns at the following times, subject to change on the day:

11.24am Heriot

11.35pm Fountainhall

11.56am Stow

12.07pm Galashiels

12.18pm Tweedbank.